Alienware Acts Like an Alien and Beams Away

I have an Alienware laptop computer made by Dell.  These are known as gaming computers, but I didn’t get it for gaming.  In fact, I never play games on it.  Instead, I use it for writing my blog and Tom said I needed the extra power for all the pictures I use.  I’ve had it for four years and it has worked great.

Until one day a couple of weeks ago, I went into my office to work on the blog, turned on the computer and – nothing.  At first it booted up but then it blinked off.  When I tried to restart it (turn it off and turn it on again) I got this message on my screen.

This is similar to the “blue screen of death” we used to get on computers way back when having your own computer was a new thing.  In fact, shortly after I took a picture of this message, we did get the blue screen of death.  I tried, Tom tried, we enlisted the computer savvy younger generation and nothing.  None of us could get the computer on again.

Fortunately, living in the Columbus area, we have a very good (and very busy) place to take broken computers.  MicroCenter is a company that started out with a store in Columbus in 1979.  Tom and I started going to MicroCenter in 1984 when we began working in Ohio.  It has been our go-to computer store ever since.

So, the same afternoon that the Alienware laptop died, I bundled it up and took it in to MicroCenter.  I had to leave it there and they said it would be a couple of weeks before they could even look at it.  But I left confident that my Alienware baby was in good hands.

Two weeks later I got a text from the technician who said he had fixed the computer.  When I asked what he had done, he said he “drained power from the motherboard” and restarted it.  That fixed it!  I don’t know how you drain power from the motherboard.  It sounds a little like doing something with the mothership, which would be appropriate for my Alienware.  But it was a simple fix (simple if you know what you are doing) and the computer has been working great since then.  Even better, they only charged me the diagnostic fee of $45 to fix it.  Score!

I asked the technician if I had done something wrong, and he said no – it was a problem that powerful laptops sometimes have.  He also said I could fix it myself if it happened again.  I’m not sure about that, but I am very glad to have my Alienware laptop back again.  Tom is also glad that I have my computer back and don’t have to borrow his anymore.